Members of UFCW Local 1208 who work at the Smithfield plant in Tar Heel, N.C., refined their skills by participating in a 32-hour Hazardous Materials Response workshop at the ICWUC Center for Worker Health and Safety Education in Cincinnati on July 8 to 11. The ICWUC holds health and safety workshops in coordination with the International’s Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Office.
At the workshop, UFCW Local 1208 Business Representative Aaron “Ace” Carter and Member Leader and Health and Safety Committee Representative Ella Ellerbe learned about the properties of toxic chemicals, regulations, and personal protective equipment.
“The training was very informational and specific. Because of the things that we learned, it allowed us to come back to our plant and compare the safety procedures that we learned to the one that we have in place,” said Carter. “It also helped us understand the importance of the guys in our maintenance department that have to deal with chemicals and how they play an important role in keeping us safe. We also learned of other trainings that we think will be very helpful to our local.”
Here are free classes available to members at the ICWUC Center for Worker Health and Safety Education:
32 hours of Hazardous Materials Response. (Session 1: Sept. 30-Oct. 3 / Session 2: Nov. 18-21 all in Ohio with 4 slots open) Participants will learn about the properties of toxic chemicals, regulations, and personal protective equipment. They will respond to a simulated emergency release, wearing a self-contained breathing apparatus or respirator and protective clothing.
40 hours of Department of Transportation Training. (August 12-16 in Ohio with 3 slots open) This training is targeted for workers at facilities where hazardous chemicals are loaded and unloaded and for covered workers, shipping and receiving biological wastes. This course is taught in a “train the trainer” format.
The purpose of these workshops is to make sure our members and stewards are aware of their rights under the OSH Act and union contracts and have the most up-to-date information about working with toxic chemicals and other hazardous materials. Scholarships are available so that members can attend these classes free of charge. To sign up for these workshops, contact Fernando Tapia in the OSH Office at firstname.lastname@example.org, (202) 466-1502 (office) or (202) 664-7995 (cell).